Kenyan mobile-based business-to-business food supply platform Twiga Foods has raised a US$10.3 million Series A funding round to enable it to increase the number of vendors it serves, diversify its product portfolio, and introduce advanced supplier services.
Launched in 2014, Twiga Foods uses technology to consolidate the fragmented purchasing power of urban retailers, saving them a trip to the market by delivering to their doorstep better quality and better priced stock.
The startup’s platform then translates this aggregated purchasing power to farmers across the country, allowing them to access stable markets at better prices, while minimising post-harvest losses through efficient logistics. It is the largest distributor of a number of basic food staples in Kenya, having sold over 55 million bananas and delivering over 4,000 orders a week.
The US$10.3 million round was led by Wamda Capital and includes Omidyar Network, DOB Equity, Uqalo, 1776, Blue Haven Initiative, Alpha Mundi, and AHL, while Twiga has also secured US$2 million in grant funding from organisations such as USAID and the GSMA to support bolt-on farmer services, financial inclusion and domestic food safety initiatives.
“Twiga is an outcome of the Nairobi startup ecosystem, the years of investments that have gone into developing talent, supporting hubs, and attracting capital to the market,” said Grant Brooke, co-founder of Twiga Foods.
Fadi Ghandour, chairman of Wamda Capital, will be joining the Twiga board of directors.
“Twiga represents our first investment in East Africa, a new geography for us in which we plan on being increasingly more active. We are particularly excited in beginning our investment programme in East Africa by supporting this remarkable set of entrepreneurs building a truly disruptive business,” he said.
“Drawing on our experience in the logistics and supply chain space, we believe Twiga has developed a unique solution to address the inherent inefficiencies in the delivery of fresh produce in East Africa with significant positive impact for both producers and consumers.”
“We are pleased to support Twiga and its mission of helping Kenya create a more sustainable, scalable farm produce ecosystem,” said Ory Okolloh, director of investments at Omidyar Network.
“The addition of new partners into Twiga, and continued support of our current stakeholders, is a huge affirmation that there’s a better way to build marketplaces for Kenya and the rest of urban Africa,” said Peter Njonjo, co-founder of Twiga Foods.
“We can get consumers and suppliers a better deal, and this support will go a long way in achieving those goals.”